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Mark Selby and Barry Hawkins set up China Open final clash

Hawkins reaches his second final of the season (credit: Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Defending champion Mark Selby and a resurgent Barry Hawkins will meet in Sunday’s China Open final following Semi-Final victories over Kyren Wilson and Neil Robertson respectively.

Selby, the 2015 and 2017 China Open winner, extended his unbeaten run in this prestigious world ranking event to 20 matches following a hard-fought 10-8 win over Wilson.

The world number one, who withdrew from the event in 2016, moved through to his first ranking final since last November's International Championship to remain odds-on for the £225,000 top prize in Beijing.

Selby opened up a 3-0 lead with breaks of 96 and 53 to his name, and though Wilson got off the mark with a 59 in frame four, 'The Jester' stormed further clear by cliching the fifth and making a 78 in the sixth.

A break of 50, however, proved insufficient in frame seven as Wilson stopped the rot before closing the gap to 5-3 behind.

Selby got back on track with a 59 break before consecutive contributions of 79 and 73 saw Masters runner-up Wilson claw back to just 6-5 adrift.

Selby restored daylight by virtue of breaks of 71 and 72, though Kettering's Wilson hit back superbly with breaks of 82, 60 and 51 to level the match at eight apiece.

Selby continues his timely return to form (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
So often a granite performer under pressure, Selby quashed any hopes of a terrific Wilson turnaround as he landed breaks of 66 and 58 to get over the line.

World number eight Hawkins progressed to his second world ranking final of the campaign after an impressive 10-6 defeat of Australian ace Robertson.

Hawkins, runner-up at the Welsh Open last month, had battled through successive last-frame deciders in the Third Round and Quarter-Finals but comfortably prevailed against the former World Champion.

It was Robertson who drew first blood thanks to a break of 67 before Hawkins replied with a 73 to level up.

Hawkins then went ahead before extending his lead with a break of 86, though quick-fire efforts of 79 and 76 hauled Robertson back to parity.

The first century of the match went to 'The Hawk' as he powered in a 124 to lead 4-3 before a 62 saw Robertson square up the contest once again.

The pair exchanged frames nine and ten before Hawkins pulled clear by reeling off the next three frames with a high break of 73 to take command.

Robertson registered a ton of his own with a brilliant break of 110 to trail 8-6, but only for Hawkins to reply in-kind with a magnificent 101 and dominate the following frame to seal his spot in Sunday's final.


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Mark Selby and Barry Hawkins set up China Open final clash

Defending champion Mark Selby and a resurgent Barry Hawkins will meet in Sunday’s China Open final following Semi-Final victories over Kyren Wilson and Neil Robertson respectively.

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